Victorian Socialists statement on Palestine

Posted on Wednesday, 11 October

Victorian Socialists stand unequivocally on the side of the Palestinian people in their ongoing resistance to Israeli occupation and to the violent repression they’ve been subjected to for more than 70 years.

We are horrified that the Israeli military is once again bombing the Gaza Strip and ramping up its war on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. In just a few days, the Israelis have killed more than 700 people, including more than 100 children. There is now talk of a ground invasion of Gaza, with 300,000 reservists massing ominously near the border. 

Stand with Palestine

Israeli politicians are preparing for a massacre. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to “turn Gaza into a deserted island”. Its defence minister said that they are “fighting human animals”, while another called for ethnic cleansing on the scale of 1948, when 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in a campaign of terror. 

As if to start this potentially genocidal process, Israel’s illegal siege on Gaza has now been made absolute: no electricity, food or fuel reportedly will be allowed in. More than 80 percent of Gazans are reliant on foreign aid. How are they supposed to survive this?

This latest round of horror has come about, ultimately, because of the inhuman suffering imposed on the Palestinian people. The media wants us to believe that everything was fine until last weekend. The clear implication is that only Israeli lives matter—because overwhelmingly the Palestinians are the ones being killed year in year out.

Over recent decades, Israel has expanded its control over almost every aspect of Palestinian lives. Today, there are 700,000 illegal Israeli settlers in the West Bank, almost triple the number from when the ‘Oslo peace talks’ started in the early 1990s. An ex-Israeli general recently accused the country’s army of being a “partner in war crimes” and described the situation there as “absolute apartheid”. 

We are appalled and saddened by the loss of civilian lives in this conflict, which over its decades-long course have been overwhelmingly on the Palestinian side. We don’t accept the idea, widespread in the Western media and politics, that both sides are equally culpable for these deaths. 

Israel is one of the wealthiest and best armed countries on earth, and enjoys the full military and diplomatic support of the US and its allies. It is committing the crimes of apartheid, occupation and ethnic cleansing. It must be held to account.

Recent events are a stark reminder that there cannot be a lasting peace under the current conditions. Peace requires that Palestine be free from the chains of violence and oppression with which Israel has firmly bound it.

We encourage Victorian Socialists members and supporters to attend this Sunday's (15 October) rally in solidarity with the Palestinians and against Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza, starting at 12pm at the State Library. Details here: